Oakland Protesters, Outsider Looters

Katy Grimes: The Oakland protestors upset over the “involuntary manslaughter” verdict of Johannes Mehserle’s murder trial of victim Oscar Grant, have a reason to be upset. Many city residents feel that it could have been any of their kids shot for no reason by a twitchy cop.

Peaceful protests were held by family and local Oakland residents.

After dark is when the mood changed according to reports from Oakland. Young protestors threw rocks at police, and lit trash can fires.

However, the idiots who saw the protests as an opportunity to riot and loot local stores should be prosecuted. Looters carted off expensive athletic shoes from Foot Locker after breaking the doors and windows. Rioters and looters smashed a window at the Far East National Bank building and pushed inside. “Riot for Oscar” was sprayed on a bank wall. An art gallery was broken into and trashed.

Reporters last night interviewed legitimate protestors, frustrated with looters. One man called the looters “ignorant.” He was being kind.

The protestors were rightfully angry but peaceful, and conducted themselves in an orderly manner. Grant’s family members were very upset by the verdict and felt that he got off far easily after murdering Grant.

The looters were disgraceful.

Some reports from Oakland were oddly positive. “I have to say, well over 95 percent of the protesters acted very well, and well over 95 percent of the police acted very well,” said Oakland City Council member Rebecca Kaplan, reported at Oakland Local news site.

SF Gate reported, Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said the people causing trouble did not seem to be Oakland residents bent on voicing displeasure at the Mehserle verdict. He described them as outsiders “who are almost professional people who go into crowds like this and cause problems.”

Local stories here: Oakland’s reaction to Mehserle verdict mostly peaceful till and here: After dark, mobs form, smash windows, loot

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